Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Gamer's Utopia Preview: Super Smash Brothers Brawl!

Posted by:Maxx
Ah...Midterms are done and I can get back to the gaming community, hope you guys didn't miss me. Well this time I'm reporting on a game that I'm having a major nerdgasm just waiting for the release! Yep, reporting on Super Smash Bros. Brawl!!! If ya haven't heard some of the new additions this time around, I'll gladly inform ya! And if you didn't hear of the series before, I have one thing to say... What the hell is wrong with you?! GO and get a Gamecube or N64 NOW and buy Super Smash Bros. or SSB Melee!

Ok I'm good now... Anyways there are a lot of new things this time around! New characters, items, stages, and game mechanics! Nintendo certainly aren't pulling the punches in this game! (No pun intended). Well let's stop screwing around and go straight to the good stuff!

Characters...ah the new characters.... Well from what I’ve heard, all of the characters present in Melee are in it except for a few, like Mewtwo and such. But they replaced those with much better characters. Some that are coming into the fray are Meta Knight, King DeeDeeDee, Pok'emon Trainer, Diddy Kong, Wario, Ike, and Pit. However, here's the cool thing. There are also third party characters! Only two have been released right now and they are Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series (whom uses CQC fighting and explosives) and (the one I'm squealing like a fangirl about) SONIC!! Yep the speed demon is in the upcoming game and now all the people who lived through the first console war finally get to pit Sonic and Mario against one another! There are also arenas for each character! Awesome things happen in them too, like Gears popping out of a base or the stage crumbling apart!

And some of the new stuff they have! Nerdgasm right there! Well let see, there are new items, like Assist Trophies (I think pok'eballs but with characters from different series like the hammer throwing Koopa and Ninja from MGS). There's a new pesky hammer which is stronger, faster, and lets the user run off the stage without dying! Then there is the big item, the thing everyone will fight for! This is known as the Smash Ball! Basically it's this orb floating randomly around the stage and the players try and break it open: once they do, they can unleash a super attack, known as Final Smash, and cause massive damage, if not a k.o.! Some of the Final Smash actually transform characters!!

If you’re not excited about this game, then damn boy, you're not a gamer! This game is one everyone's list if they own a Wii! It's coming out in March so keep an eye out! Till next time folks, ciao!

Links to Music From SSBB!

Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Main Theme

Fire Emblem: Fire Emblem Theme

Kirby: Meta Knight’s Revenge

Sonic The Hedgehog: Angel Island Zone

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Medley

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kirby! Break it down now! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, do do dodo do do

Posted by:Maxx
It's funny when you find a classic on the interweb! And I found this awesome video for Super Smash and Kirby fans alike! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gamer’s Utopia Preview: Top 10 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2008 (Five-One)

Posted by:Kal
This is, of course, is the continuation of my last post. If you did not read the one before this one, you can read it here. For all those people that already read that one, I’ll just jump into the list.

5. An apocalyptic world has been the setting for movies and games for the past few years. Maybe it’s an omen, maybe it’s not. Whether it is or not, the next few months will be filled with apocalyptic anticipation since Fallout 3 comes out in 2008. This game is centered on a Vault 101 member, who one day, wakes up and finds out his father has left the vault to wonder the wasteland that was once the United States. Wanted to find his missing father, the main character leaves the safely of the vault and starts his journey in the nuclear harsh environment. Surfing the internet, I came across many disgruntled internet users complaining how Bethesda Software will ruin the game. And like anybody, I have an opinion about that. Bethesda Software has the rights to do whatever they want with this game series and if they contracted Liam Neeson for the father’s voice, then they must know what they are doing. Check out Fallout 3 later in 2008.

4. The next game on my list, I really never understood. I’ve watched all my friends play this game and laugh when “things” happen. So this must be a hit, right? I’m sure that Rockstar has great pride in creating such an interesting game such as Grand Theft Auto IV. GTAIV centers on an Eastern European who travels to the United States to live the American Dream. However, there is some tension with his cousin, as well as his roommate, which causes the story to unfold.

3. *tap tap tap* hallelujah, hallelujah!! Hallelujah…Hallelujah….Hall-e-lu-juh!! Here at last, the flagship for the playstation 3 has arrived! That’s right; Grand Turismo 5 will be hitting stores March 18, 2008 and I am sure that many, many people are excited for this game to come out. Coming new to the game series, GT5 will include the possibility to race up to 15 cars in arcade mode (plus yourself for a total of 16 cars). The racing isn’t the only exciting thing about this game; it’s more about the different amount of cars. The producer of GT5 have confirmed 37 cars from 21 manufactures, including Nissan, Ferrari, Ford, Dodge, and Audi. With that much selection, the possibilities are endless. The long-due arrival of GT5 could not come at a nicer time for sony’s playstation, which doesn’t seem to be much of a success.

2. This game, by far, is probably my favorite game series of all time. When I was a kid, I played this game endlessly and I can still remember summers “wasted” sitting in front of my television trying to master and collect all the characters. If nobody knows what I’m talking…what is wrong with you people? Super Smash Brothers Brawl is coming out this year to millions and millions of fans everywhere, whether Chinese, Japanese or English. The new features that will be included in SSBB will be insane music, a huge amount of characters (even third party characters), and Internet connection to battle friends and foes online. Just thinking about this game makes me drool and wanna go by a Wii.

1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, of course, gets number one in the Gamer’s Utopia Most Anticipated Game of 2008. This number one game has amazing music, insane online play, and intense story. The setting takes place in 2014, five years after the Manhattan Incident and after the end of MGS2 with an adversary that could take on the United States. So far, there were three locations that have been released by the game designers, which include the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America. Not only will this game be packed with story, but also awesome voice actors. I am sure that this game will be the top game of 2008 and will jump start the sales of PS3.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Gamer’ Utopia Preview: Top 10 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2008 (Ten-Six)

Posted by:Kal
Having 2007 recently come to a close, I searched the internet gazed into the future to see the upcoming games for 2008. I was rather impressed by the creative games of 2007, but the anticipation for the new 2008 strikes me harder than I ever thought possible. So with that in mind, I created a list of 10 games that strike my fancy (or the fancy of others) and I’m sure that they will interest you as well.

10. Will Wright is probably one my favorite game designers geniuses of our time…at least I think he is a genius. But with games like The Sims and SimCity, who would doubt that claim. His success is shown by the popularity of the games he designs and Spore will not be out of that loop. Though Spore is still TBA and there is no guarantee that it will be released in 2008, the gaming community has already become restless for the arrival of this game because, we all know, there is nothing like a game that lets you create your own world and fill it with your own creatures that someday will blast off into space. This game includes several different phases to conquer, including tide pool, creature, tribal, civilization, and space phases. *sigh* All those different sections of this game will make it interesting and difficult to master. That’s why I’ll keep playing it for several years after its release.

9. Seems Namco is at it again. “Transcending history and the world, a Tale of souls and swords, internally retold.” Isn’t that what the narrator says? Well, it doesn’t matter because he’ll soon say it again, possibly for the last time, in Namco’s release of Soul Calibur IV. I’m not going to go into much detail because you could read the post about SCIV but I’ll quickly recap. They are bring back the Create-a-Soul feature from the third SC, supposedly, IV will have more of a II feel to it, and finally, there will be a “finishing” type move, kind of like Mortal Combat. All I can say is that this will be better than all the rest!

8. Another game title that has a TBA state is probably the most famous “series” in video game history and has several titles on the “Best Video Game of All Time” list. This series, of course, is Final Fantasy. FF13 will hopefully come out in 2008, but at this present time, it’s up in the air. The basic setting of FF13 is a world divided into two areas (one is floating on top of the other). The top civilization, Cocoon, is very technologically advanced and they perceived Pulse (world below them) to be dangerous and have a great fear of what is down there. Like many of the recent FF games, the plot has a government against the people, blah blah blah, and there is rebel leader going against them. This leader in this game is codenamed “Lighting” and for all you female gamers out there, Lighting is a chick. Can’t really put to words the excitement I possess.

7. Personally, I’ve never played this game but I have a lot of friends that have enjoyed it for all the years it’s been sucking the lives out of people. By just saying “sucking the lives out of people,” I am sure that everybody knows that I am talking about World of Warcraft. There is nothing bad about Warcraft and that’s why they are making an expansion pack, a second to be more accurate; the Wrath of the Lich King will surely keep Wow players coming back for more…kind of like they do now. The expansion pack is stuffed with new features such as raising the level cap to 80 and introducing a new hero class: the Death Knight. Watching the trailer, to this expansion pack, makes me wanna go out and grab a copy myself and see what this game is all about.

6. August 2008, in a land called America….God…that wasn’t even remotely cool but the upcoming video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will be insane. The multiplatform game will include many different systems such as PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, and Nintendo DS (as well as many others). The game takes place between Star Wars Episode III and Star Wars IV. In that time period, the player will take the role of Darth Vader’s apprentice and is sent across the galaxy to destroy any remaining Jedi. The people that buy the game for the Wii, will have the ability to use the Wii remote as a lightsaber (which, all in all, is pretty cool). Hopefully, you’ll check this game out, even if you have never watched any of the movies, because I’m sure this game will be the talk of many of your friends.

For now, I’m out. This post will continue on my next post. Be sure to check it out, Im sure you’ll be surprised when you find out which game is number one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TV Show Review: Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles

Posted by:Kal
Flicking through the channels Sunday evening I noticed a big advertisement on fox for a new show coming in the upcoming hour. After the many shouts from the other members of my family, I was persuaded to stay on Fox to check out the pathetic show that was going to follow, at least I thought it was going to be pathetic. Little did I know, I was wrong. To my amazement, the new Fox television show: Terminator TSCC entertained and astounded me, whether by the action intense scenes or the embedded eye candy that I now know as Summer Glau, I surely enjoyed Terminator TSCC and I am sure you will too.

The series takes place after the events of the 2nd terminator after the main characters destroyed T-1000 and the arm and the chip of the first terminator. Running from the law and the fear of more assassins, Sarah and John flee to a rural town for protection. Little did they know, the small town would be were their adventure would start.

If you even remotely like the Terminator movies, you should check this series out because I was shocked by the intense action of this show. With the writers’ strike, it’s been hard to find some good television on during the prime spots, now this is not the case. Now I know that on Sunday nights I have something to watch that’s actually good. And I’m sure that I will never get bored of this series.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Gamer’s Utopia Preview: Soul Calibur 4

Posted by:Kal
Blood, swords, death…*sniff* *sniff* Smells like Soul Calibur to me! That’s right gamers; Namco has just released news about their upcoming sequel to their famous Soul Calibur franchise. Soul Caliber IV will be hitting stores sometime in summer ’08. Sadly, the Wii will be excluded from the usual trio, but that’s alright because Namco has already released a Wii Soul Calibur game called Soul Calibur Legends.

The most exciting news about the upcoming Soul Calibur game is, of course, the new characters. And when I mean exciting, I mean it. Namco released that there will be an exclusive character with each game console (as in 360 and PS3) and they should be characters that we all know about. Bundled with the 360, Yoda will be busting moves like there is no tomorrow. And bundled with the PS3, Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, will be using the force against anybody who stands in his way. Adding these two characters will surely add even more excitement to the gaming experience.

List of Features

  • Based on the "design flow" of Soulcalibur II.
  • The basic concept of depleting your opponent's health has not changed.
  • Stages will be much larger than before and be more interactive with breakable objects.
  • Ring Outs will be less common as this is something the developers want to cut down on.
  • New characters will be revealed closer to release.
  • New and Improved "Create a Soul/Character."
  • Customizations will have an effect on gameplay.
  • Created Characters can be traded online.
  • Online Play.
  • Chronicles of the Sword mode will not be included but will be replaced with a new mode.
  • Health Gauge will be changed.
  • There will be a "Finishing Moves".
  • Guard Impact is back.
  • Game can be patched if necessary.

Japanese Site

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Youtube Feature: Smosh

Posted by:Kal
One of my favorite video producers on Youtube.com is a duo called Smosh. They have been on Youtube since the site was created and they were probably my first subscription. Recently, they have produced a new video titled Cat Soup and after 3 hours of laughter, I have finally cleared the tears of joy from my eyes long enough to type this blog entry. (Regular—longer posts— will continue this week. For all of you college students who are returning to school this week, you understand what I am feeling. Thanks for understanding).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Gamer’s Utopia Movie Preview: Meet the Spartans

Posted by:Kal

The film 300 was, by far, one of the greatest, if not only, Greco-roman themed film of 2007. Not even a year later, somebody has to make some kind of
crappy parody about God-knows what, to feed off 300’s money wagon. And let it be the team who created Epic Movie, to parasitically nourish itself off of 300’s success. That’s right; Meet the Spartans will be hitting theaters at the end of January. Hopefully without a bang…we wouldn’t want viewers to have seizures while watching the movie, would we?

There is a bit of negativity in my tone when writing about Meet the Spartans. I mean, they “steal” a perfectly alright movie and then completely mock everything the movie was about. However, that’s really not what makes me angry, it’s the fact that people will actually pay to see it (Even though I will be guilty as well.) They gather a load of two-rate actors and actresses and mush them together with a despicable production crew and will make triple or even quadruple the amount they invest. How outlandish is that?

Anyways, Epic Movie 2 Meet the Spartans will parody not only 300, but also other movies such as Cloverfield, Transformers, Shrek the Third, Ghost Rider and Stomp the Yard. And mock celebrities such as Britney Spears and Chris Crocker. Hopefully, this movie will be a less of a letdown than its predecessor, but don’t hold your breath. Maybe I’ll get through this movie by drowning myself in Coca-cola and popcorn…That’s always positive.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Gamer's Utopia Review: .hack//GU

Posted by:Maxx
Yeah this is my first post on this blog (I'm a new person around here besides Kal, if ya didn't know). So I figured why not break the ice with my review of my current addiction/obsession, .hack//GU. And just to let you know, my review for it is different than the ones in magazines and websites.

.Hack is a rather popular hit, in games, anime and manga. The basic back story is about this HUGE MMORPG called "The World" (And when I say huge, I mean it's like every kid and their dad playing). "The World" did have its problems; problems that are by far worse than a crashed server. For you see, data anomalies infected the monsters, making them un-killable. And that's not the worse part, for you see if you get killed by an infected monster, you become comatose.

In the first series of games, a player named Kite joined "The World" after persuasion from his friend, Orca (who was a legend in "The World"). After a dungeon, which taught Kite how to play the game, Orca is attacked by a rare monster named Skeith, and Kite gains an item called "The Bracelet of Twilight." The next day, Kite finds out that Orca went comatose, and goes on a long journey to cure Orca, meeting other players in the same situation along the way. This group is known as the dothackers and they fight the waves of "Morgana" (The god of "The World") and in the end bring the comatose back from their comatose condition.

Well in GU (Yeah that explanation wasn't GU.), the game creators decided to make a new "World" (because of the Morgana incident); this world was called "The World R.2." This world becomes a playground for PKs (or player killers) who prey on the weak and helpless. This is where our hero, Haseo, comes into play. He is a high leveled PKK (Player Killer Killer) and has a strong hatred of PKs, for he was PKed (Player Killed) the first moment he signed on the game. Not only was he PKed the moment he signed on the game, but also his lover, Shino, was PKed by a player named Tri-Edge. Well after an encounter with Tri-Edge (Whom looks extremely similar to Kite), poor level 130 Haseo is reduced to level 1.

Over time Haseo learns that his character in the game is VERY unique, his is an Epitaph user. These users can summon forth an avatar to fight data bugs, known as AIDA. Each Epitaph (avatar) is a "Wave of Morgana", Haseo's being Skeith. With this power and the other six users, Haseo goes on a long journey to save Shino and rid "The World" Of AIDA, a journey that spans the course of three games (which is still a game shorter than the previous series).

This game gives a great feeling of playing an MMO. When you’re not playing "The World", you'll be on the desktop reading emails from your party members, reading forums and downloading pictures, or even changing the desk top's background and music. And when you're playing the artificial MMO, the MMO feeling, is still present. You can talk and trade with other players/party members, run a guild store, get quests, and participate in tournaments. The only thing that would make it feel more like an MMO is having an actual online part.

This is one of the last games for the PS2 and is very anime influenced. It has good graphics (You'll notice some collisions problems and a little pixely), some GREAT songs, awesome voice actors and better game play then the first series. This series got a lot of bad marks in the game magazines and sites, but if you’re a fan of unique stories, anime, or the first series, seriously check this sequel out. It's addicting! Though some of the bosses are evil.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Gamer’s Utopia Preview: Mario Kart Wii

Posted by:Kal
Pondering my childhood, I remember my very first Nintendo 64 game. It was a classic; there was nothing like play that game for hours on end. That game was Mario Kart 64. I raced against friends and my sister, celebrated in my victory, sobbed in my defeat. *sign* such good memories. Well, Nintendo is at it again with another one of their famous Mario Kart games, however, this time it’s more interactive and you guessed it, it’s for the Wii. Currently, the game is projected to be released by spring 2008 and I am more than ecstatic.

Like Mario Karts predecessors, Mario Kart Wii will have a single driver against a gang of opponents (unlike Double Dash). It will include various tracks from the past games such as Yoshi Falls and Dk Mountain and will support Nintendo WiFi connection, so you will be able to decimate your gamer friends, online which support 12 players per race (possibly even 16). In addition to all the cool new features, players will be able to choose between driving a Kart or….A motorcycle. This game will be pretty sweet, all-in-all.

The Video below shows a clip from E3, where the project head, introduces the new toy that will be bundled with Mario Kart Wii, that toy will make the Karting experience even better.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Youtube Feature: PersonaSama

Posted by:Kal
Surfing the Internet months ago, I came across a Youtube user that made animated videos. Liking his videos so much, I of course subscribed to him and recently he posted a new video. I won’t go into much detail because I would spoil what happens in the video, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it and watch this video.

The Gamer’s Utopia Preview: Final Fantasy IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan (Return of the Moon)

Posted by: Kal
Little did we all know, but Square Enix, is actually making another sequel for their famous Final Fantasy franchise. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Square Enix doesn’t make sequels for Final Fantasy; they are totally different games with different stories.” And of course, that statement is true (other than FFX-2, which I try to forget about); however, that statement will be false, in a few months, when the sequel for Final Fantasy IV comes out in Japan. The story takes place 17 years after the original (or the DS version) and will center on a young man named Ceodore (son of Ceril Harvey and Rosa Farrell-the protagonists of the original Final Fantasy IV). Most of the other details have been left out by Square Enix and true fans of Final Fantasy will have to keep checking up on them about the story. However, they did release that a majority of the characters from FFIV will be back for “round two.”

Now a day, being American has had its downfalls, having FFIV being Japanese exclusive tops the cake. Supposedly, FFIV:The After is only going to be released to Japan, playable mainly on the FOMA 905i phone (as well as some others) and will be released in chapters to subscribers (which costs money). Too bad for SE because many American players, as well as Europeans are outraged that another FF will not be release to them.

If you're interested, check out the Japanese Site for more details. Of course, the site is in Japanese, so you might be out of luck. Catch ya next time.

Official Japanese Website

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Video Game Vault: Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

Posted by: Kal
Digging in the basement video game vault, I came across one of my favorite game titles for the Nintendo 64. A legendary title (well at least that's what I think), which kept me occupied for hours on end for several days after re-finding it in the territory I call my house and in all respects is a very engaging game. This game, of course, is Ogre Battle 64. Whether it is the joy of controlling my little sprites across a battle field or the thrill of upgrading my characters to a different class or having to put up with those annoying little "soldiers" things randomly upgrading to an actual fighter, there was just something about OB64 which made it stand out from the rest.

Basically the story follows the protagonists: Magnus Gallant (or whatever you name him), a recent graduate of the Latium Military Academy. After becoming a captain in the Palatinus' Southern region, he liberates the entire south from the rebels after the revolt was stirred up and follows through with his orders. However, later in the game, he joins the rebellion after finding out that the Palatinus regime was corrupt and decided that they shouldn't be allowed to rule. Magnus' battalion has to find their real enemy, the Holy Lodis Empire, destroy the power they mysteriously "acquired," and restore peace to their world and free their people from slavery forever.

Overall, this game was quite popular amongst reviewers and was celebrated, with open arms, by RPG fans everywhere. The only reason this game wasn't more popular was because Atlus (game publisher) didn't ship the amount of copies they promised and this jewel became hard to get your hands on. Many reviewers, such as IGN or Gamespot, rated this RPG high with ranges such as 8-9.1. Cory D. Lewis (IGN-rated 8.8) states, "[R]egardless, Ogre Battle 64 is finally available to the public, and we simply couldn't be happier. I can tell you right now what my plans are for the weekend -- turnout all the lights, grab a soda, and hit the couch for some more RPG goodness." Sounds like a good plan to me.

Special Class Guide
Class Guide

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More Screenshots Here